Felicity Kendal was brought up in India, touring the country as part of a troupe of actors managed by her father. Aged 17, she came to England for the first time. This book describes that exotic upbringing in India and explains what an unusual effect it has had on the rest of her life.
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Geoffrey Kendal's dream was to do theatre for as much of his life as he could manage, and to be under nobody's thumb. He and his wife put together a small company, and together they barnstormed around India doing Shakespeare, Wilde, and Shaw for the best part of three decades. Before she was one of the most famous and loved actresses of her generation, Felicity Kendal was Geoffrey's daughter (her first film was Merchant Ivory's Shakespeare Wallah which celebrates his company).
This memoir of her early life, and of the slow process of watching her father die recently, is distinguished by clear-sightedness; this is a book about the way you love impossible parents even when you have eventually to walk away from them for a while. It is full of the sights and scents of both India and the theatre; there are few better books on the nervous pride of the actor. It is wonderfully evocative too of the unforgivingly hip sixties London to which Felicity Kendal came back as a naive ingenue. The tone of voice is idiosyncratic and charmingly personal and the book as a whole is touching without a scrap of sentimentality. --Roz Kaveney
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